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Underwhelming New Nintendo Switch OLED Announced at $350

In a turn of events, Nintendo revealed the newest Switch model, with minor upgrades. While not a Switch Pro, will the Switch OLED be worth it?

Credit | Nintendo

While not necessarily unwanted, the new Nintendo Switch OLED has many Switch fans underwhelmed. The new device, releasing October 8th for $350 will come with many upgrades over both the Nintendo Switch and the Switch Lite, although not as many as thousands had hoped for.

Nintendo Switch… OLED?

Announced just today, the Nintendo Switch OLED is the newest Switch model in Nintendo’s latest lineup, boasting a larger 7-inch, 720p OLED screen. While the screen is slightly larger and higher quality, the 720p resolution is the same as with every other switch model. Rumors had expected the new Switch to ship with a brand-new NVIDIA mobile processor and a resolution upwards of 4K, although it appears they were mistaken.

The original Switch had a screen sitting at 6.2 inches. While that’s certainly not small, the screen made some games a bit more difficult to play. The new Switch is a bit larger, although most of the 0.8-inch difference comes from the slimmer bezels and decreased black edges. 

The screen is the speaking point of this model, as OLED is a huge upgrade over the already not-too-bad LCD presented with the original Switch. With brighter colors, more contrast, higher clarity and deeper blacks, there’s a lot to like about an OLED screen. The big issue is that people expected more.

Grand expectations

The expectations were incredibly high for a new model of the Switch. That’s even with current sales topping thirty million units in just the last year. The Wii U sold just 13.56 million units in its entire life. 

With that in mind, it’s not too hard to understand why Nintendo wouldn’t want to release a brand-new Switch, instead focusing on a revamped version. Nintendo keeps selling out of Switches, even four years into the console’s life, so it’s understandable why they wouldn’t plan to alienate much of their fanbase.

People keep buying games and consoles based off the original Switch, meaning that a more powerful Switch, which would mean higher-def games, and less on the original Switch. Nintendo would instantly cut off potential billions in revenue from just announcing a new Switch Pro. People won’t want to buy a more expensive console and get rid of their recently purchased console, just because a company wanted nicer looking games.

And that’s why Nintendo launched the OLED over a Switch Pro. Or they really didn’t want to spend the time and money developing a more powerful system. There’s also that, but let’s stick with the whole alienation aspect.

Kick back and relax

Now that you’re a little more comfortable with Nintendo launching a not-Pro Switch, let’s look at what they did with the Switch OLED.

Nintendo kept the same battery life, at around 4.5 to 9 hours (depending on usage), although the new Switch is slightly longer and heavier than the original, at 0.71 pounds vs 0.66. That’s thanks in part to the OLED’s heftiness and 7-inch screen vs 6.2-inch screen. Another weight increase may come from the 64GB of memory, against the previous 32GB included.

With that nicer OLED, you’ll be able to use it in more places with the new kickstand, finally a full-blown kickstand which covers the entire back of the Switch. It also lets you move it to several angles, vs the in and out with the original Switch. Honestly, this boring upgrade is one of my favorites coming October 8th.

There is also an upgraded speaker system included within the Switch OLED, meaning that you’ll have higher-def audio and greater function when playing in handheld or tabletop. Yet again, the original Switch wasn’t too bad in this aspect, but it’s a welcome improvement in a revision full of tiny ones.

Alongside the new screen, kickstand, and weight, you’ll also have a new dock. This Switch dock is much more minimalist, with striking (ironically not) smooth edges and a new white and black design. You’ll have access to multiple USB ports, a LAN port, HDMI, and USB-C, alongside an easier to access release. 

The new dock closes completely, with a little curved corner which you can use to re-open it. It’s really sleek and looks great with the newly designed white and black Switch model.

Still a Nintendo Switch

These few upgrades are great and all, but the biggest reason to get this is if you haven’t gotten a Switch yet. The community is still growing quickly, and this OLED model is a wonderful way to enter it. With higher quality colors, slimmer bezels, a new dock, and the ability to use the same Joy-Cons and Switch games (yup), this Switch is best for diehard fans or those that haven’t become one yet.

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It’s been two years since the Switch Lite was released for $199, and the Switch OLED serves as a perfect in-between for those stuck between getting a Switch Lite or waiting for a Switch Pro. If you haven’t bought a Switch yet, and were thinking about purchasing a Switch Pro, this is a sign that Nintendo is still committed to sticking with the Switch.

Let me be honest. Compared to a Switch Pro, this is disappointing and/or underwhelming. But, as an upgrade to the Switch, built as an expansion to the growing number of new entrances within the Switch community, I really like it.

I’d recommend you buy this if you haven’t bought a Switch yet, or if you have extra money and are a die-hard Switch fan. If you already have a Switch though, then it’s best you wait a few more years for the Pro. $50 more is great for OLED, a new dock, new Joy-Cons, a 7-inch screen, and more, while $350 isn’t that much of a deal if you already have a Switch.

Plus, I really like the packaging:

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